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Faculty

Kallah K’tanah 2022 Faculty

We are excited to announce our full lineup of two-day teachers at Kallah K’tanah! Each of these incredible leaders will be leading or co-leading a two-day class during the program. To read all about their class offerings, click on the “Classes” tab above.

Get to know our teachers below!

Kohenet Kelly-Chava Banker

Kohenet Kelly-Chava Banker

Jewish Resources for Relating: Co-Creating Belonging with Dialogue & Embodied Practice

Kohenet Kelly-Chava Banker (she/her) is forever in love with the wonder, mystery and beauty of the body. At present, she engages this devotion through her doctoral work in Jewish mystical theopoetics surrounding erotic encounters and their ethical possibilities. She also tends resilience as a barefoot bodyworker who focuses her practice on supporting survivors of various forms of violence. Kelly-Chava is a shapeshifter who plays in the languages of poetry and movement artistry. She finds deep nourishment in communion: with the ocean, with her sacred spin pole, with ritual, and with dear ones.

Rabbi Phyllis Berman

Rabbi Phyllis Berman

Personalizing the Seven S'firot Through Understanding and Integration

Rabbi Phyllis Berman (she/her) was ordained a rabbi by ALEPH in a class of five women in 2005. She acts as a mashpia/spiritual companion to students in the ALEPH Ordination Program and to others around the country and beyond, as people explore G!D unfolding in every aspect of their lives. Phyllis was summer director of Elat Chayyim, the Jewish Renewal Retreat Center for many years, and was founding director of an adult school for newly-arrived immigrants and refugees needing to learn English intensively. She’s led Torah services at meditation retreats for more than 25 years and now occasionally leads Shabbat and Yom Tov services and life-cycle rituals. Phyllis has co-authored books with her beloved partner R. Arthur Waskow and the two of them frequently teach together. She’s a mother, stepmother, mother-in-law, and a Savta to five grandchildren 12-22. Phyllis loves to swim, meditate, chant, bake, read, watch movies, and connect with beloveds, new and old.

Joshua Blaine

Joshua Blaine

Jewish Resources for Relating: Co-Creating Belonging with Dialogue & Embodied Practice

Joshua Blaine (he/him) is a community songleader, Jewish ritualist & storyteller, and resonant healing facilitator & coach. Raised in a Reform congregation co-founded by his parents, he stepped away from Judaism for most of his twenties before Jewish renewal, Kohenet, and antiracist commitments to reclaiming his own lineage brought him back to an earth-based, joy and justice-fueled Judaism. An alumnus of the ALEPH Kesher Fellowship (2020), he currently serves as the program’s Assistant Director.

Renée Brachfeld

Renée Brachfeld

We Are The Stories We Tell

Renée Brachfeld (she/her) has been a professional storyteller and teacher since 1987. Co-Founder of the MultiFaith Storytelling Institute, Renée believes that finding and sharing personal stories creates deep bonds between people, expanding our sense of community. She is a sought after teacher, facilitating workshops for asylum seekers, spiritual leaders, and children of holocaust survivors, helping them to identify and tell their stories.

Together with her husband, Rabbi Mark Novak, Renée has served as Scholar in Residence for over 150 synagogues throughout North America. Renée is also host of The Grapevine, a monthly on-line storytelling series for adults. When not telling stories, Renée is a glass artist, a baker, and a long distance runner. To learn about her favorite sport, visit rideandtie.org. Visit Renée online at MultiFaithstorytelling.org or at Jewishstorytelling.com.

Kohenet Elana Brody

Kohenet Elana Brody

Eternal G!d, Open My Lips: Finding Your Authentic Voice in Prayer

Kohenet Elana Brody (she/her) is a celebrated musician, songwriter and prayer-leader, whose prayer-spaces inspire and encourage expansion and deep healing. Trained in techniques of improvisational singing at Berklee, Elana brings a precise, powerful knowledge of music, as well as the intuitive, exploratory sense of play to her services. She currently teaches students to find and free their own singing voices from whatever blockages the body and mind carry, and offers Jewish and musical practices to access authentic prayer.

A daughter of organic homesteaders in rural Appalachia, Elana’s spiritual foundation reaches beyond Judaism to root in reverence, love and connection to the Earth. This connection is the foundation of her work as a shliach sibbur, as well, and her prayer-spaces explore the dimensions of earth-based ritual, like her teachers at the Kohenet Institute. Elana was ordained a Kohenet in the fall of 2021. Elana has led prayer in the renewal communities of Nevei Kodesh, Romemu Synagogues, Kol Hai, Living Jewishly, and Kohenet Institute, and offers services at festivals, retreats, Shabbatons, in synagogues, and online for participants all over the world. She created an online IYAAR healing concert series, featuring Jewish songwriters, attended by hundreds. Elana is a recording artist, whose music can be found online on iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp, and YouTube. Her most recent release is “Living A Miracle – Mi Chamocha.”

David Bronstein

David Bronstein

Land Teshuvah: A Shmitah Ritual of Return

David Bronstein (he/him) is a grassroots educator, community minister, ashkenazi Jew living in Tewa land – Santa Fe, NM. He has helped create an alternative to divinity school for soulful community builders called Alt*Div, and currently stewards an intergenerational Jewish yeshiva for healing, resilience, and liberation called Taproot. By day, he helps children remember their belonging to earth in various nature/experiential education programs. By night… G!d knows what he does.

Yitzchak Carlton

Yitzchak Carlton

Jewish Resources for Relating: Co-Creating Belonging with Dialogue & Embodied Practice

Yitzchak Carlton (he/him) has long been called into conversations with the Divine and the Divine sparks in others. His Jewish renewal journey began with a soul-stirring Tu B’Shevat seder and a revelatory experience with Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi at a Shavuot retreat. Yitzchak is passionate about welcoming the stranger and making spiritual support available to those at the margins. Together with his wife, Caroline Mazel-Carlton, he walks the path of the wounded healer and has supported workshops on compassionate dialogue in North & South America and Europe. A life-long musician, Yitzchak has followed the mellowed trajectory of many Generation X veterans of the punk scene and now plays in the folk band, Frozen Corn.

Judith Dack, MA

Judith Dack, MA

Mystical Mandala Making

Judith Dack, MA (she/her) is an Artist, Art Therapist and Transpersonal Psychotherapist. She is known for her welcoming spirit and joyful enthusiasm. She facilitates group experiences fostering the mindful search for The Torah Within. Her passion is to open the doorway to healing and creativity through accessible art making. Judith is the inaugural recipient of The Reb Zalman Distinguished Service Award. She has been initiated into the Eshet Hazon lineage as a Woman of Vision and carries the name Ezrat Olamay Aleph. She has presented art making workshops and group dynamic processes in Jewish Renewal venues including the Aleph Kallah, Minyan Oneg Shabbat, Kol Zimra Chant Leaders Training, and Congregation Nevei Kodesh. She is a longtime leader in the Jewish Renewal movement where she served on the ALEPH Board of Directors for 14 years. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Naropa University along with other Boards of Directors and Advisory Boards specializing in Jewish Renewal community development and sustainability. When Judith is not traveling across the country in her camper van, she resides mostly in Boulder, CO where her art studio is located. She has 2 daughters and 1 granddaughter.

Asher Edes

Asher Edes

Shmita Hives: Transform Rest and Embody Action

Asher Edes (they/them) organizes a community network, Shmita Hives, with Alexander Grace. Asher is deeply delighted to be a student in ALEPH’s Earth-Based Judaism certificate program and an alum of ALEPH’s Kesher Fellowship. Asher is a resident member of Yesod Farm+Kitchen, a diasporic Jewish agriculture project on Cherokee and Catawba land in North Carolina.

Rabbi Dr. Tirzah Firestone

Rabbi Dr. Tirzah Firestone

The Ancient Art of Jewish Alchemy: Healing Intergenerational Trauma & Restoring the Chain of Blessing

Rabbi Dr. Tirzah Firestone (she/her) is an author, Jungian therapist, and Rabbi Emerita of the Boulder Jewish Renewal Community. Her award-winning book, Wounds into Wisdom: Healing Intergenerational Jewish Trauma, is the springboard for her international courses in ancestral healing. This year Reb Tirzah celebrates her 30th year of Smicha from Reb Zalman.

Rabbi Shefa Gold

Rabbi Shefa Gold

The Way of Love: An Interspiritual Convergence

Rabbi Shefa Gold (she/her) is the director of CDEEP: Center for Devotional, Energy and Ecstatic Practice. She has published 4 books, Torah Journeys, In the Fever of Love, The Magic of Hebrew Chant and Are We There Yet?…and her music is chanted in spiritual communities world-wide. Her website is www.RabbiShefaGold.com.

Alexander Grace

Alexander Grace

Shmita Hives: Transform Rest and Embody Action

Once a field researcher in urban ecology, Alexander Grace (he/him) has spent the last 10 years as a teacher all-sorts, now working to transform institutional trauma within food and education systems. He draws on embodied presence, radically sustaining care, and the daily work of community-building to develop and facilitate programming grounded in interdependence, joy, and strength. Additional modes of understanding he incorporates are queer time, flower essences, animism and ancestral healing, and clown.

Katy Ibur, MSW

Katy Ibur, MSW

The Stars Spoke and the Mountains Ran: Exploring Jewish Animism & Astrology

Katy Ibur (she/her) is a practicing astrologer, tarot reader, retreat leader & therapist. Katy was a member of the 2020 ALEPH Kesher cohort and has hosted in-person and virtual retreats and workshops through Moishe House and yoga studios across the country. Her retreats and workshops have mostly focused on the transformative impact of astrology, exploring the intersection between the stars, Judaism, the body, the power of storytelling, and the process for healing trauma and crafting communities of belonging. Katy works full-time as a relational psychotherapist at a private practice in Chicago, where she works with adults, teens, and couples to forge and reclaim authentic, emotionally compassionate relationships with the self and the collective. Katy received her Masters in Clinical Social Work from the University of Chicago and received her Respondere from the School of Metaphysics, where she spent a few years intensively studying and teaching applied metaphysics. Katy is passionate about emotional healing and the power of group consciousness and presence in the healing process. For more information about Katy’s services, please visit her website: www.katyibur.com

Wendie Bernstein Lash

Wendie Bernstein Lash

Matriarch Magic

Wendie Bernstein Lash, M.S. (she/her) offers Jewish spiritual guidance, meditation, and mentoring as an independent Soul Care Practitioner. She is a Sh’lichat Tzibor (service leader) and creator of contemplative chanting services and meditation at Congregation Etz Chayim in Palo Alto, CA. She is in the current cohort of the Jewish Studio Project’s Creative Facilitator Training, co-creates the Elul Unbound podcast for Judaism Unbound, and is currently in the pre-launch phase of a podcast called “It’s About Time” that weaves Time, Judaism, & Iyyuning (a Talmudic concept for communal ongoing, deep inquiry into questions). She trained as a Morah L’Hidbodedut (meditation teacher) at Chochmat HaLev and in Spiritual Direction in the Morei Derekh Jewish Spiritual Direction program, and she has a Masters in Counseling. You can find out more about her work at wendielash.com, find her meditations on youtube.com/user/wendie60, or find out about the new podcast at itsabouttime.studio

Rabbinic Pastor/Cantor Lisa Levine

Rabbinic Pastor/Cantor Lisa Levine

Yoga and Mindfulness: Spiritual Prayers and Practices for Healing and Strength

Rabbinic Pastor/Cantor Lisa Levine RYT500 (she/her) is a Cantor, Rabbinic Pastor, renowned composer, chaplain, poet, yoga teacher and builder of bridges between faith communities. She received Ordination as Cantor from HUC-JIR-DFSSM and more recently as Rabbinic Pastor through ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. Lisa’s healing music, liturgy, prose and poetry is published and featured in dozens of publications. Her catalogue includes 12 CDs of original music and her chorale series is published by Transcontinental Music Publications. “Jospel Jam” and  “Sound of Your Soul” are her most recent recordings spotlighting her signature Jewish Gospel music as well as her love for sacred chant. Her volume of poetry “Heart of Light: Poems of Longing, Loss and Life” is available on Amazon along with her popular book “Yoga Shalom” published by URJ Press. Lisa is a contributing leader of the Jewish Yoga Network and creator of the Kislev International Yoga Festival. Reb Lisa serves as chaplain at Riderwood Jewish Community and Jewish Social Services Agency. She is Co-President of the Rabbinic Pastors Association and serves on the Board of Ezra Uganda Assistance. Lisa freelances around the world sharing her healing music, worship art, poetry and Yoga Shalom practices. www.cantorlisalevine.com

Elan Loeb

Elan Loeb

Matriarch Magic

Elan Loeb (they/them) is a Jewish musician and educator based in the Bay Area on Ramytush land. They are the Music Specialist and Songleader for the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto. They received their BA in Near Eastern Studies from Cornell University. Elan is proud to be in the second cohort of the Creative Facilitator Training through Jewish Studio Project. In 2020, they founded Tzedakah Songs: Jewish Songs for Justice, an organization that hosts musical fundraising events for social justice causes. They are currently hard at work on an album of Jewish music, and on their project, Matriarch Magic. Matriarch Magic is a book aimed at reconnecting us to the stories of the biblical Matriarchs through creativity and ritual. Elan believes that art is for everyone and loves to share the joy they find in Jewish music. Find out more about their work at elanloeb.com, or on instagram @elanloeb.

Caroline Mazel-Carlton

Caroline Mazel-Carlton

Jewish Resources for Relating: Co-Creating Belonging with Dialogue & Embodied Practice

Caroline Mazel-Carlton (Rivkah) (she/her) is passionate about exploring the intersections between disability justice, dialogical practices and cultural identity. She also loves to sing! Caroline currently serves as the Director of Training for the Wildflower Alliance, which is recognized by the World Health Organization as an international leader in innovation in mental health. Her journey of Jewish renewal began with her roller derby career, where she skated for the Blue Ridge Rollergirls as #18 Mazel Tov Cocktail, but has now expanded to ritual design and facilitation in synagogue, chavurah and retreat settings. She is equally happy facilitating group aliyot intentions for Torah services, spirituality groups in psychiatric hospitals or workshops on de-colonizing the mental health system as far away as Australia and Brazil. Caroline has been featured in diverse media outlets such as Foreign Policy, the New York Times, and Oprah magazine and has contributed to multiple academic publications on the topic of mental health system reform. She is profiled in NYT best-selling author Daniel Bergner’s latest book “The Mind and the Moon”.

Reuven Betzalel McCullough

Reuven Betzalel McCullough

Tikkun Daat: Mind/Body Split and Jewish Re-Integration

Reuven Betzalel McCullough (they/them) is a registered polysomnographic technologist who has worked in sleep medicine for fifteen years. They have a degree in Classical Studies and they aren’t afraid to use it. Reuven brings a deep-south sensibility, a belief that binaries are just human constructs, and an unrelenting curiosity. In their free time they enjoy reading and being a nocturnal cat dad.

Rabbi Mark Novak

Rabbi Mark Novak

We Are The Stories We Tell

Rabbi Mark Novak (he/him) is a musician, composer, storyteller, hazzan, avid gardener, and Washington Nationals fanatic. He is founder and spiritual guide of MOSh: Minyan Oneg Shabbat, a devotional community of G!d wrestlers that gathers 3x a week in its online Zoom-a-gogue. If you have heard the term “BreakThrough Rooms”, that’s where it originated! He is co-founder of MFSI: The Multifaith Storytelling Institute. MFSI’s mission is to train professional and lay spiritual leaders in the use of storytelling, to be used in sacred settings.

Mark and his wife, storyteller/teacher/juggler Renée Brachfeld, have served as scholars in residence at over 170 communities throughout the US and Canada. Reb Mark’s blog -” A Year of Stories” – was collected during the year following Reb Zalman’s (t’zl) death , and is dedicated to his memory. It can be found at Rebmarko.com. Visit Reb Mark at Rebmarko.com; MultiFaithStorytelling.org; MinyanOnegShabbat.org; and JewishStorytelling.com.

Sára Rain

Sára Rain

The Way of Love: An Interspiritual Convergence

Sára Rain (she/her) is a teacher and minister in the Sufi Ruhaniat lineage, a mentor for the Dances of Universal Peace and spiritual director. Sára supports individuals and groups with musical, embodied prayer as interfaith practice, cultivating the heart of compassion and tending to the Spirit of Guidance. www.trigoddess.org

Rabbi Jeff Roth, D.Min.

Rabbi Jeff Roth, D.Min.

Me Myself and God

Rabbi Jeff Roth, D.Min., M.S.W. (he/him) is the founder and Director of The Awakened Heart Project for Contemplative Judaism. He has led over 230 meditation retreats over the last 25 years. He was the co-founder of Elat Chayyim, the Jewish Spiritual Retreat Center, where he served as Executive Director and Spiritual Director for 13 years. He is the author of Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life and Me, Myself and God. He is currently facilitating a one-year online program called the Deepening Contemplative Practice Intensive. He was ordained by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi as well as by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Rabbi Roth served for eight tears as the Executive Director of B’nai Or which became P’nai Or before its transformation into ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. He lives with his partner Rabbi Joanna Katz in the Hudson River Valley.

Ian Schiffer

Ian Schiffer

Land Teshuvah: A Shmitah Ritual of Return

Ian Schiffer (he/him) is an organizer, resource mobilizer, and ritual leader born and raised in Tovaangar/LA. Through his role as Community Weaver with Nefesh, an open-hearted spiritual community, he supports bridge-building, and inner-outer multi-faith Tikkun. Ian works with boys and men in building nurturance culture and is honored to be connected to the Tongva Tahrahat Paxaavxa conservancy. He’s interested in offering spiritual, radical real estate, and ancestral support to settlers interested in being good guests/kuuyam through land transfer/teshuvah. Ian is a life-long Dalai Lama Fellow, loves ritual walks at the beach, and spacious time with kin.

Molly Schulman

Molly Schulman

Transformative Philanthropy: Grounding in Jewish Tradition to Give for the Long Haul

Molly Schulman (she/her) received her B.A. in American Studies from Tufts University with a focus on institutions and power. Since graduating, Molly has sought opportunities to combine her passions for community organizing, resource mobilization, and Judaism. She is an alumna of the Urban Adamah fellowship (2018), JOIN for Justice Jewish Organizing fellowship (2019), the Chordata Capital fellowship (2020), and the ALEPH Kesher Fellowship (2021). She has worked as an educator in both Jewish and secular settings, serving as a Team Leader with City Year New York, a course instructor for Don’t Kvetch: Organize! and Hebrew College’s Open Circle Jewish Learning program, and a Jewish educator at Central Synagogue. She has organized with the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, IfNotNow, and Resource Generation, and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. She has proudly served on the board of JOIN for Justice since 2019, is a rabbinical student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and is the rabbinic intern at Slingshot. Molly lives in Philadelphia, PA.

Ami Weintraub

Ami Weintraub

The Stars Spoke and the Mountains Ran: Exploring Jewish Animism & Astrology

Ami Weintraub (he/they) is the founder of Ratzon: Center for Healing and Resistance, a queer, Jewish, and anarchist community center in Pittsburgh. Ami is a writer, community organizer and educator at local Hebrew schools. They are a Rabbinic student in the ALEPH Ordination Program and a two time graduate.

Grounding in Gratitude